Top Drawer wants to get into the minds of Asheville’s notable fashion forecasters, trendsetters and style icons. In this series, we ask boutique owners and designers what inspires them, and what tips they have to pass along. Larry Hopkins, owner and mastermind of Ananda Hair Studio (22 Broadway St., Asheville, 232-1017) is influenced by the beauty and intrigue of his adopted home, and finds inspiration in everything from local faces to architectural hair design. But, perhaps most telling, it’s the simple details like quality coffee and everyday headwear that round out this stylist’s must-have list.
Mountain Xpress: How long have you lived in Asheville, and what brought you here?
Larry Hopkins: Twelve years. The budding diverse culture of Asheville.
Do you follow trends or stick to classics, and why?
That’s a tough one. It’s a combination. There always seems to be a place for each. Classics are our building blocks, our foundation. However, we adjust to individual wishes, needs. Asheville calls for one to take it a step further, to be bold enough to deconstruct the classic with a touch of the moment in time, to pull off a personification and customization of that individual’s personality and features. The designer has to have the ability to assimilate a considerable amount of information in a short period of time. Understand what the hair wants to do, the spirit of the style, and have a symbiotic dance with all these factors and deliver a product that puts a sparkle in the client’s eye.
Who is your favorite designer?
There are so many influences in each medium. Wright, Le Corbusier, Eileen Gray, Rae and Charles Eames, Chanel, Armani—all those bold lines with a dash of softness here and there, the brilliant colors. Out of the air I’ll grab Vidal Sassoon because he was the architect behind most of the modern hair we see today.
What luxuries do you count among your necessities?
A good cup of coffee and solitude.
When you shop for art, what styles are you drawn to?
Mid-century modern. Cubism.
Which books or films do you turn to for inspiration?
The Bible. The Tao Te Ching. Breakfast at Tiffany’s.
Which one item (or outfit, or accessory) in your wardrobe is your foolproof piece?
My black beanie, I presume …
Where is your favorite Asheville hangout?
Asheville is a body as far as I’m concerned. This place is a confluence of so many beautiful people, places and things. It’s definitely Asheville as a whole that I love.